Russell Hampton
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RoTell - January 27, 2021

via Zoom, Scribe: Scott Vetter


  • President Joan informed us that she and incoming Pres Dave will meet with Jonny at Scotiabank to finalize e-transfer abilities for our club. This will make paying dues much easier for members and treasurer.

Happy Bucks

Everyone seemed to be happy, some moreso with a more progressive American neighbour.
Guest Speaker - Inspector Debbie Miller
Inspector Debbie Miller began her career in the spotlight by being one of the first five black female officers ever hired by the Ottawa Police Service in 1994. Debbie is known for her ability to seize opportunities to advocate, mentor and empower the next generation of leaders. She does not wait for a seat at to be available; she builds the table and invites those who need to and should be at the table.  Debbie has used her platform to open doors to communities that have never regarded policing as an option. She was instrumental in modernizing the Constable Selection hiring process by streamlining it, which included leading an extensive review, and identifying and eliminating longstanding systemic barriers.
Debbie most recently was awarded the distinction of being one of Canada’s 100 Black Women to watch in 2020, by Canada’s International Black Women Event (CIBWE).  Debbie continues to use her platform to inspire and to challenge us to face down hard truths, systems and structures that need tearing down so we can build anew collaboratively with all key stakeholders at the table.

Importance of Community Partnerships

Inspector Debbie Miller said that her career was a challenging start, but she proved she was certainly up for that challenge, and many more.
One of the first five black females hired by the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), Debbie chose to go into recruiting and has engaged her peers to lead change so that all who are qualified can apply to and succeed in the OPS.
In her policing, Debbie builds diversity by speaking to the different communities, and then listening. She realizes that everyone has a story. If you want change you have to listen to others' stories and appreciate how experience with the police impacts them and their community. Through understanding the true needs and experiences of different communities she then works to evolve policies and procedures to foster change and encourage more diversity.
Debbie gave an engaging and lively talk with many examples and anecdotes of diversity within the community and working together to facilitate change and improvement. She commented that every organization, be it the Ottawa Police Service or Rotary, needs to reflect their community, and appreciate that the community continues to change.
Her motto is to live life to leave it better off for others and, thankfully for us, Debbie is an over-achiever.
President Joan officially ended the meeting a little after 1:30pm, and many members stayed on to talk with Inspector Miller.
Rotary Club of Ottawa South members were thrilled to listen to Inspector Debbie Miller on January 27, 2021 via Zoom.